Wednesday, October 09, 2013

But let me tell you about the lake


            Days when Democracy Now spends the whole hour with a renowned film director who informs us that the financial industry is corrupt, the middle class is shrinking, and bankers are rewarded, not punished for their wrongdoing. No kidding — should I just go back to bed? Sometimes you feel like you’ve been on the computer all day, you’ve been on the computer all day. Sometimes when you feel like you’ve been on the computer all day, it’s only been a few moments. Which is worse?

            The toilets in the public bathrooms on Lake Michigan in Chicago use harvested rainwater, but it’s still a bit inconvenient when there’s no toilet paper. Days when I go back to a bookstore where I did a phenomenal and packed reading the night before, and my books are nowhere to be found. Or perhaps they are somewhere to be found, but in any case, I can’t find them. The owners are there; I think they are the owners. We haven’t met. They are selling the store. One of them scowls at me. I leave.
            But the lake, let me tell you about the lake. The lake is the best thing about Chicago: the whole city fades away. You can see it, it’s right there if you look, but you can also look at the lake and see nothing but water and sky. And oh, this sand, all this sand they brought from somewhere, who knows where, but now it’s under your feet, so glorious, you could be on any almost-abandoned beach with seagulls resting and birds chirping and you would lie in the sand if you had a towel but you don’t, too much to carry, so you lie in the grass and the sun is warm and the air is cool because this is fall, fall in the Midwest, which is a glorious time when the air clears and everything softens. I was going to tell you how horrible I feel, how horrible I feel and this is how I thought I would feel right away but then I didn’t, it took a little longer, which I think is a success, but what is really a success is that now I don’t feel horrible either.

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